2005 to 2010 – Wow has the world changed!

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June 3, 2010

As a founding partner of That’s Good HR, an Indianapolis based staffing firm,  I have been asked to participate on a panel for the Indiana Venture Club as a 2005 Inc 500 award recipient.   The leaders of the Venture Club have asked our panel of three to discuss how our companies have changed over the past five years.  How did we survive the recession we are coming out of and what is the outlook for our companies and our industries?  In preparing for this presentation I realized that "WOW" a lot has changed in the past 5 years and there are many great lessons and numerous assumptions being made for both job seekers and employers as we start to come out of this recession. 

First let’s start with the job seeker or candidate side.  In the past 5 years the supply/demand curves have drastically changed.  Gone are the days of multiple interviews, multiple job offers and recruiters/headhunters blowing up your phones or voice mail.   Most people are thankful for the job they have but I believe this has been an exceptional time to evaluate your current employer and your fellow teammates.  By now you should know where you rank on the list of "prized" employees and what the future holds for your employer and the opportunity to continue to grow your career there. If not, wake up and start taking notes.  In my opinion, the supply/demand curve is slowly starting to move back in the direction of the candidate. Don’t get me wrong, this movement will be gradual, but now is the time to asses and measure. From what I see daily while assisting clients and our internal recruiters there is a pent up demand for new job opportunities by the top talent.  How long has it been since you have even sniffed an exceptional career opportunity?  Now is the time to assess yourself, your employer and pay attention to the Indianapolis job market as the curve is starting to shift.  

Next let’s move to the employer or hiring manager side.  Wow, have the past five years really changed for them as well!  It went from a job market where they were held hostage due to a shortage of candidate supply to one in which now they can take their sweet time and interview many more candidates than they ever should. As a hiring manager and/or management, by now you should definitely know who are your A, B and C players (if you have any C’s left, that is).  The past 5 years have really thinned out the Accounting/Finance and HR staffs in many companies.  As you continue to assess your needs for your team now is the time to be dipping your toes in the water and be one of the first companies to "market"(See pent up demand above). As the talent supply/demand curve starts to move, those aggressive companies will be the ones to win the top talent.  As an employer now is also the time to evaluate and potentially rebuild part or all of  your hiring process.  As the  market moves back to being more competitive for talent, time will once again be against you and the cost of hiring the "wrong" person has greatly increased.  The days of having excessive staff are gone and in the future making a miss-hire is going to have greater consequences to both the employer and the manager as it will be more visible to leadership and stakeholders. 

I also would be remiss to not address my "favorite" assumption that I hear on a regular basis as I talk with clients and prospective clients.  And that assumption is this: Some employers truly do believe that there is exceptional talent walking the streets of Indianapolis, unemployed.  Don’t get me wrong, the pool of "good" and "very good" and even "exceptional"  has definitely increased through this recession but when was the last time you saw an employer downsize one of their "exceptional" employees, especially during one of the greatest recessions ever?  I understand the need to be objective in downsizing and of course understand the implications of HR law but let’s be honest, the reality is that it just doesn’t happen very often. I know this might sound like a setup or self-fulfilling as on owner of a staffing firm but time is precious and costly and in today’s world of hiring and rebuilding your teams the cost of making the wrong hire has greatly increased.  

At That’s Good HR we would welcome the opportunity to assist candidates with their career search needs and employers with their staffing needs.  We are also very willing (as well as competent, I might add) to sit down with a client or prospect and help you evaluate your sourcing, validation and hiring models.  We are here to make the hiring and interview process more enjoyable and more successful for all.     

Happy Hunting!